It’s Facebook, Google and Some Other Things

Bye-bye Foursquare. Bye-bye Gowalla.  …In fact Bye-bye to pretty much every goofy Web service listed here.

  • Google is a search engine. People search for things.
  • Youtube is a search engine. People search for things to watch.
  • Facebook is the Walmart of Social Media. Get used to it.
  • LinkedIn is a rolodex for business people who aren’t on Twitter.
  • Twitter is 21st Century telephony. Pick up the phone, hang up and get back to work.
  • Blogs are for people who aren’t addicted to Twitter, who know about SEO and produce most of the content on all the places listed above.

Email is also a critical component – regardless of what some may think.

That’s pretty much it.

Is this an extremely over-simplified statement of today’s Web? Yep, it sure is. And in today’s Attention Me-conomy, you need simple, simple, simple.

Facebook, Google, and some other things like Youtube and occasional hits off the Tweet Pipe are where you probably need to do you most of your public art.

Facebook and Google: they’re it…for probably the next five years. Ten years from now? Who knows: technologies are moving way to fast to predict that.

I’ve been watching social networks and media for 32 years (no joke). No social network has thus far sustained itself. They almost always decay and fall apart.

Facebook is the exception – it broke the sound barrier. And nobody’s going to take it out of the sky anytime soon.

A decade ago, most people thought Google was just another search engine – that search engines were transient things. They were wrong. Same logic with Facebook. Except Facebook has WAY more data about people and their relationships with each other. And it now has mobile and geolocation – and it’ll continue to own the things that matter to most markers in the coming years.

Google and Facebook will go to war (it’s already going on), and the war will go on. That may or may not be an opportunity for upstarts. But we won’t see any big players emerge anytime soon.

Oh, and pay attention to Apple too. They have $33 Billion in Cash, Cash Equivalents and Marketable Securities and a leader who has seamlessly morphed his business from computers to music to mobile phones. Not a man to dismiss anytime soon. (Repeat: it has $33 Billion in liquid assets. Not paper valuation like Facebook or Twitter. Apple has raw purchasing power.) But as far as social presence, that’s a few years off before it’s determined what role they may have in all this. Same for Microsoft (lol).

And Twitter? Oh, Twitter – my sweet little bird – Twitter will continue to grow and grow until it becomes….Twitter. It’ll be around in some form or another. People run on Dopamine, and Twitter’s got its unique way to supply that drug.

Personally, I wish people valued art and science and nature and having a genuinely good time meeting each other. But that’s me.

The reality is: most people are happy being consumers. And that’s exactly who Facebook is building its mart for.

If you don’t like that, then take advantage of the Web and build your own small and focused community of five or ten or one hundred people. Really – you can start one today.

People will disagree with me about what I’m saying here. That’s OK. I want that. In the process I’ll learn a lot from them, because I have no idea what I’m talking about.

But here’s the thing: for people actually doing this stuff in a business context, resources are limited and decisions about allocation are vital.

You don’t have to be everywhere to be somewhere.

Wherever you are, just be really good at it.

@PhilBaumann –        @HealthIsSocial

UPDATE: Regina Holliday in the comments below points out that Flickr is another resource. I agree and for organizations which take pictures of events, etc. should really fold Flickr into their presence.

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